DASH High School Cross Country 2013 Prairie School Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school team ran in its much-awaited meet at Armstrong Park yesterday. Nine teams participated, including Eastbrook Academy and host The Prairie School. We have posted great individual times and team scores in the past on this course, and this year we had the added challenge of running against two former DASH stars from the Eastbrook team, (who in the opinion of most look much better in DASH yellow). The day was warmer and more humid than usual which made the finishing times a little slower than past years, but the racing was as good as it gets.

Andrea Beck ran with a bad back on this course last year, and was ready to make amends and run with the leaders this time. After 17:02 had passed, Andrea crossed the finish line with only two senior girls ahead of her. I am already waiting for next year’s race. Zipporah Caspers put together a well constructed race, and passed two girls near the end who were giving her some problems earlier, to finish 18th. Hannah Schein continued her trend of improving each time out. She is edging ever so closer to breaking 20 minutes now, which gives me a good excuse to keep her practicing hard. Amelie Kemmann had one of her best races of the year to be our fourth runner in. She was looking much healthier this time out. Unfortunately, the girls team did have one casualty. Makayla Gergeni was only able to go about a half mile before she stopped with a hip injury. Hopefully her stopping early will mean we will not have to wait as long for her return. She has lowered her time with each race this year, and has become a big part of the team’s success.

There was a certain intensity in the air before the start of the boys race that was finally released when the gun went off. It did not take long for a lead pack to take shape which included a boy each from Brookfield Academy and Martin Luther, two well-known athletes from Eastbrook, and our own stars, Ransom Nyhart and Jacob Dickman. At the half-way point things had spread out just a little, with Ransom running in third on the heels of an Eastbrook freshman. Jacob was about 10 seconds back biding his time to move up. In the last mile, a Martin Luther athlete moved to the front and Ransom had fallen back to fourth. Then just before the finish, the Luther boy missed a turn and let three athletes pass including Ransom. Ransom was able to out sprint a Brookfield Academy athlete down the hill and capture 2nd place for the DASH team, just behind an Eastbrook freshman with a familiar face. Jacob Dickman gave us his usual strong finish to give us a second top-5 finish, a feat no other team could manage. As good as the racing was in the front, following the rest of our DASH stars was no less exciting. John Sherman was our third runner early, but Matt Lange moved up to join him a little past the half way point. Matt and John pushed each other for the next mile when Matt picked up the pace even more and crossed the finish line a tick under 20 minutes. It was his personal best by 51 seconds. Matt has gotten very good very fast, and has become one of the great stories of the season. John Sherman came in just seven seconds behind Matt with his best race to date, and Joe Hughes ran faster than he ever has finishing with a time of 20:29. John and Joe’s times were DASH records for our four and five runners proving once again how good this team has become. Samuel Zinkgraf added to the list of great running on the day, setting his own personal record. He looked strong throughout and really showed off his finishing speed at the end. Zebulon Caspers wilted in the second half of the race and was far from his pace of last Saturday. Hopefully he will be better in Rochester. Brady Klaves broke 30 minutes for the second consecutive time. He has a couple more tries to try to push his time even lower. Our one casualty for the boys was Isaac Fredricks. He was unable to finish because he ate something he shouldn’t have for lunch. We will be running short next week, so hopefully he will be back ready to run.

The boys finished 4th overall, just two points out of 3rd, and seven points ahead of 5th in a very tight race among the top 5 teams. The DASH fans had some heavy competition in the cheering department at the awards ceremony, but sneaked in a victory in that department as usual. Great DASH cheering went out to medal winners Andrea Beck, Jacob Dickman, and Ransom Nyhart. The day continued at DeRango’s Pizza where we met up with the some former DASH and now Eastbrook stars. The DASH team made them feel at home, and consoled them with pizza and some scintillating DASH conversation. I even got my iPad out and turned to our Flickr site so they could reminisce over some great photos from back when they proudly donned the DASH yellow. (Their team doesn’t have anything like that.) We did all we could to keep their minds on happier days. It was another great day of DASH racing, and once again the DASH team proved special.

Thanks go out to the DASH fans who were all over the course. Thanks to the athletes for keeping us inspired with their effort and keeping us running around to see them. Thanks to the camera lady for capturing the action. The photos of the race have already been seen by many. Be sure to check them out if you haven’t already. As I mentioned, not every team has stuff like that. One more race, plus the championship races, are left for this team. Let’s keep pushing toward some more great results. Then we can rest and enjoy some ice cream.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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